Congratulations, you are having a baby! You have set up baby’s nursery with a sturdy crib and safe changing table as well as begun decorating the room with adorable personal touches. What else can you do in anticipation of your newborn? We have eight suggestions for things you should prepare before baby arrives and a new, hectic chapter of your life begins.
Choose A Pediatrician
If this is your first baby, you’ll need to meet and choose a trustworthy pediatrician. (If you aren’t sure where to start, your obstetrician’s office can usually offer recommendations.) Bring a list of your questions and concerns, along with a pen and paper for taking notes, to your prenatal meeting. While busy doctors can appear intimidating, push forward with your questions and concerns. Remember that you are shopping for a doctor and don’t have to settle for one that makes you feel uncomfortable. This pediatrician will be performing baby’s first doctor appointment very shortly after you give birth. See if you can complete as much paperwork as possible during your prenatal doctor visits, because your mind will be much more cluttered once baby’s in your arms!
Pack Your Bags
Pack your overnight bag for the hospital or birthing center well in advance of your due date. Thank goodness my mom was packed extra early, as I decided to make my first appearance to the world a solid 6 weeks before I was due! Be sure to include your camera and cell phone charger, your comfiest clothes, and an outfit the baby can wear for the trip home.
Prepare and freeze some favorite meals. Those first few weeks can be overwhelming, and you’ll be grateful for ready-made dinners that you can simply pop in the microwave or oven.
Organize Baby’s Clothes
Wash, dry, fold, and store baby’s sleep clothes, blankets, burp cloths, and bibs. You’ll want everything clean and ready to use, and trust us – when the baby is here, laundry will be the last thing you’ll feel like doing!
Diapers, Diapers & More Diapers
Stock up on diapers in two sizes: one package matching the OB-GYN’s estimate of your baby’s birth weight and another package in the next-largest size. If your bundle of joy surprises you and weighs a little more on his birthday (or bulks up very quickly), you won’t find yourself stranded without any diapers that fit. If the bigger size doesn’t fit right away, you can be sure you’ll use those diapers in a few months!
Take A Hospital Test Drive
Take a test drive to the hospital or birthing center with your spouse or birth partner. You know how you have to pay extra attention to road signs and exit lanes when you’re driving to a new destination? Trust us, nothing’s more distracting than a passenger in labor for even the most confident of drivers! Both you and your partner will feel more relaxed on the day you need to rush to the hospital if you have done the route before.
Install Baby’s Car Seat
Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ car seat safety checkup here. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t be shy about enlisting an expert to help you. Better safe than sorry!
Stock Up On Supplies
Make sure you have enough feeding supplies … but don’t overdo it. If you’re planning to bottle-feed some or all of the time, it’s usually best to buy small packages of bottles until you see what kind(s) your baby is comfortable taking. Likewise, if you’re planning to use formula, either exclusively or as a supplement, it’s wise to stock up on one or two containers of several brands in case your baby has a specific preference.
Taking time to prepare before baby arrives means you’ll have fewer things to worry about once he’s here. And that means you can spend more time snuggling, playing, bonding, relaxing—and maybe even sleeping!